P&Z approves Kwik Star zoning petition

Company makes revisions to request

—Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Adri Sietstra Wade Dumond, Kwik Star Real Estate Development Manager, speaks Monday evening during the meeting of the Webster City Planning and Zoning Commission. Dumond addressed changes made to Kwik Star’s second petition to rezone land on Fairmeadow Drive from residential to commercial property.

The Webster City Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously to approve a zoning petition from Kwik Star pending revision of the comprehensive plan Monday evening.

This petition is to rezone land on Fairmeadow Drive from residential to commercial property. The recommendation to rezone will be considered by the City Council. The council have the final say in the matter in the coming weeks.

The recommendation to rezone this property was requested by Kwik Star. The grocery store/convenience store hopes to build a new Kwik Star location between Maharry Dentistry and WC Financial. The change from residential to commercial zoning would be necessary for Kwik Star to possibly build at that location.

Kwik Star first submitted their petition to rezone the parcel on Fairmeadow in August. Kwik Star withdrew their first application after failing to meet four of the nine requirements the commission needed to move forward with the zoning request.

“We do feel that Webster City would be a good community for us as well as we’ll be good for the community,” said Wade Dumond, Kwik Star Real Estate Development Manager. “Otherwise we wouldn’t have kept working on getting the approval and making the changes that would help.”

Representatives with Kwik Star worked with City engineers to re-conform their plans. After revising their initial plan to meet all nine criteria guidelines, Kwik Star recently submitted a second petition to the Webster City Planning and Zoning Commission. In order for their application pass P&Z standards, all nine criteria must be met.

“Tonight we were presented with a new petition for rezoning from Kwik Star,” said Karla Wetzler, planning director. We had to reevaluate our yes’s and our no’s from our rezoning checklist that we did over a month ago. There were nine criteria to meet and we had four no’s on that criteria at the time.”

The criteria that had not been met at the last meeting was addressed by members of the commission. The four criteria included the following:

• The traffic and weight of vehicles was not in line with the comprehensive plan

• Noise and the possibility of creating a nuisance

• The usage in the area did not conform to existing and future traffic

• The construction and use of a truck scale

“Our big hang up was the intersection,” said Steve Struchen, commission member. “They’ve addressed it.”

Kwik Star also conducted a traffic study on the intersection at Fairmeadow Drive and Superior Street. Kwik Star worked with city engineers to come up with three possible plans to help combat traffic flow problems there.

The council will vote on which of the three options will be used if they approved the rezoning recommendation from P&Z.

“The biggest concern was the traffic at the intersection and they have submitted three different plans,” said Wetzler. “And our City Council will go over them with our city engineer and decide which plan they want to go with.”

Dumond noted the changes made to these four criteria. The truck scale was removed. The truck parking in the initial petition was removed. Additional buffering around the outskirts of the property was added.

“I understand everybody has their opinions. I understand it’s not in my backyard. I understand that,” said Wetzler. “But I’m also for growth and I have been here for 32 years and there has never been anyone that has approached me to put anything on that land.”

P&Z unanimously approved the four requirements that had not been met with the first petition after addressing the changes.

“P&Z had to do a lot of soul-searching and to look and read in their comprehensive plan to figure out all the correct answers to each of the nine questions that we would do for any rezoning,” Wetzler said. “They came up with four negatives the first time and now they have come up with all yes’s the second time. So because of the changes Kwik Star was willing to do for us, it is now a much more viable plan.”

According to Dumond, Kwik Star first began looking at the possibility of building a Webster City location three years ago.

“We have three stores in Fort Dodge and we knew that Webster City would be a good city for us as well in terms of population,” Dumond said. “We’re just a good fit for the community we feel.”

According to Wetzler, the council will set a public hearing for changing the parcel of land at Fairmeadow from residential to commercial property. According to Wetzler, the council will set the date for the public hearing at their Dec. 18 meeting and hold the public hearing on Monday, Jan. 15.

A majority vote will be needed by the council in order for the measure to pass.

“Because there is a petition out there against this, the City Council is required by municipal code to vote a four-fifths vote,” said Wetzler. “Four out of the five council members have to be in favor of it.”

If approved by the council, this recommendation would amend the comprehensive plan to change the future land use map, which would show land located on Fairmeadow Drive as commercial. This amendment changes the land from residential use to commercial land use. The eight-acre parcel, prior to the amendment, was designated as R-1 and R-2.

“We like to be good neighbors and be a good community member. We do what we say. We’re not going to try to do a bait and switch or anything like that,” Dumond said. “The plan that we have submitted that is being reviewed is what we are going to build. We want to be good neighbors.”